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Dragonfire's Blog

03 Apr 2022

Book Review: The Red Book

Coins | Dragonfire

Today I will be writing a book review on the Red Book by R. S. Yeoman. I will be basing this review off of the 2022 75th edition. The Red Book is a price guide for U.S. coins. There are some pros and some cons to the Red Book. In this review, I will be listing the pros and the cons of the Red Book.

The Good parts of the Red Book:

  • The Red Book contains prices for a lot of different error coins including off center strikes, broadstrikes, clipped planchet, planchet(no strike on it, raised rim), and blanks(no strike, no raised rim).

  • The Red Book also contains a price guide for wrong planchet coins(coins struck on the wrong metal).

  • The prices in the Red Book are sometimes somewhat similar to what you would get from a coin dealer or online.

  • The Red Book contains basic grading instructions for some coins at the beginning of each type coin(for example, it will have grading instructions at the beginning of the section on shield nickels, then instructions on grading Liberty "V" nickels at the beginning of the section on Liberty "V" nickels, etc).

These are the main good things about the Red Book. The Red Book also has some bad parts about it:

  • Prices are not always very accurate. For example, The Red Book says that a 2019 or 2020 West point quarter is worth $10 in MS63 and $25 in MS65, but if you look at what has been bought on Ebay, you will find ungraded W quarters going for anywhere from $10 to $30, MS63 graded examples going for $15 to $50, and MS65 examples for $30 to $100.

There is only one complaint that I can think of for the Red Book. Over all, it is an okay book, but the prices are not all that accurate to what you would find at a coin dealer or on Ebay.




This is my first numismatic book review. Please leave a comment and tell me anything I can do to improve the next one.

Comments

Longstrider

Level 6

No book is good for prices. I would say a bad guide at best for prices. They change daily. I by the Red Book every couple of years. I favor the spiral bound, large text. Thanks

Mal_ANA_YN

Level 5

Members in my club call the Red Book the Coin Bible.

Kepi

Level 6

Good review. True... the coin values can be off a bit... With that said... A "must" have book! ; )

AC coin$

Level 6

A rather instructive reference for all collectors. I follow your words and concur with your likes and dislikes of this book. Prices aren't accurate. This book you reviewed however tends to be a strict baseline for prices and evaluations. Good blog.

CheerioCoins

Level 5

I also use it as a guide just like Mike. Usually I will use the Cherrypicker’s Guide to look for errors. The Cherrypicker’ Guide is by a good friend of mine Bill Fivaz (pronounced Fi-Vah) so I trust him on those things since he is a very famous collector and has many years of experience. This book is a great book and currently I only have one from 2021 since I usually will use Greysheet to price my coins. Thanks for the review though!

Mike

Level 7

I use it as a guide. They also have many errors. Doing inventory I was entering the 1959 proof Franklin at PF 67. It said it was worth 2,250.00. That's wrong. I checked out her sources. So be careful. But it gives allot of info. I use the Mega Red 1500 pages and its great. Thanks for the blog!!

$tarCollector

Level 4

This is good for your first review, but you did not mention a few things. The Red Book is not the best coin book to review as your first book unless you did it in multiple parts with a part for each section. You also said that a blank has a raised rim, which is incorrect. The Red Book grading system is known to be not very accurate throughout collecting, but it can be helpful to less experienced collectors. And as for the W quarters, they technically should be priced at those prices, but the demand for them is what makes them higher. Everybody wants one. Overall I would say you should split it up into the major sections such as: Large Cents/Small Cents section, Two Cent/Three Cent/Half Dime/Nickel section, Dime/Twenty Cent/Quarter section, Half Dollar/Dollar section, Gold US coins section, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Palladium American Eagle section, Commemorative/Proof and Mint Sets section, and/or Patterns/Private Tokens and Territorial Gold/Confederate issues/Hawaiian and Puerto Rican issues/Philippine issues/Alaska Tokens, and/or the error section. You could write three blogs, a part 1, 2, 3, containing your review of a few of these sections. That would certainly add more to this relatively short blog for one of the most famous and helpful numismatic reference books.

$tarCollector

Level 4

That is true, but if you would like to receive YN dollars for it you must put it in the 'Young Numismatists Exchange' category.

Dragonfire

Level 3

Thank you so much for this comment, especially the raised rim part, which I would have completely missed. This is more of a overall book review for the Red Book for the YN dollars. After looking into it, I do not think I will have time to do all three of these.

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